After a thrilling win against the Celtics over the weekend, the Spurs played another exciting game on Monday night by beating the Wizards 116-99 at home.
Washington led for the majority of the game until Derrick White caught fire in the third quarter, as the 27-year-old scored 18 points in the period alone. He ultimately finished with 24, which is a season-high for him so far. It was encouraging to see the entire team play solid team basketball for the entire night, as their compete level was quite consistent and even improved as the game went on. That’s a great sign for a young team that’s still learning how to stay competitive every night regardless of their opponent.
- With Devin Vassell and Doug McDermott sidelined, Pop decided to insert Josh Primo into the game. The rookie saw over a dozen minutes of action and didn’t look out of place, as he hit a couple of open shots while playing solid team defense. Primo is obviously extremely raw (he’s still only 18!) and definitely isn’t ready for a full-time spot in the rotation yet, but I like how the team is giving him some run with the big club from time to time.
- As mentioned above, White had 18 points in the third quarter alone, and a lot of that was due to his teammates looking to get him shots. Feeding the hot hand has been something that the team hasn’t consistently done this season, especially when Vassell’s the one who's caught fire. Hopefully this is a sign that the Spurs are becoming more cognizant of finding players who have a rhythm going.
- San Antonio didn’t concede a single fast break point on Monday night. The Wizards aren’t the most threatening team in transition, but it’s still an impressive feat regardless and I’m sure Pop is will be very happy about that.
- Thaddeus Young didn’t get on the court until the third quarter, but he made a big impact in the minutes that he played. The veteran isn’t the rim protector that Jakob Poeltl or Drew Eubanks is, but he’s more versatile on offense and also more reliable in a switching scheme on defense. Young made a number of impressive passes to cutting guards that resulted in easy layups while also icing the game with less than two minutes left when he banked in a shot after taking advantage of a mismatch down low against Bradley Beal. I’d love to see Young get more minutes in the right matchups, which could also potentially increase his trade value if the team decides to sell at the deadline.
- For the second consecutive game, the Spurs kept their composure in crunch time and emerged victorious. Unlike Saturday night, however, they didn’t concede a lead and actually continued to build on one after going up half a dozen points at the end of the third quarter. Every player seemed calm and collected and knew that they had to stay focused in order to win, which is exactly what happened. It’s only two games, but the team is undoubtedly gaining some crucial experience that could prove to be invaluable moving forward.
For the Wizards’ perspective, visit Bullets Forever.
San Antonio will now have two days off before visiting the Trail Blazers in Portland on Thursday night. Tip-off will be at 9:00 CST on KENS-5.